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  • In Ace Combat, you get to use 4th to 5th-gen fighters like the Eurofighter Typhoon, F-22 Raptor and Su-37 Terminator. However, with the exception of some of the birds in Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception, they will mostly fall short of the game-original superfighters.
  • Very obvious in the current Age of Empires metagame, which favors strong economic bonuses and early-game advantages. Classic civs like the Britons, Mongols, Huns, Aztecs, and Mayans are still at the top of the metagame, along with newer civs like the Indians, Burmese, and Malay, while otherwise strong civs like the Chinese, Franks, Japanese, and Incas become niche choices, and civs like the Goths, Turks, Koreans, and Magyars are rarely used due to lack of early game power or over-dependence on a single exhaustible resource outweighing their potential as late-game powerhouses.
    • This is most noticeable in the most recent expansion, Rise of the Rajas, which introduced four new civs. The Burmese and the Malay have both quickly grown to be powerhouse civs, while the Vietnamese are less powerful but still strong and possess a specific niche. The Khmer, in contrast, are much less commonly used due to some less useful bonuses and a focus on a much less powerful unit type.
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    • This has begun to happen with the water metagame as well, with previously acknowledged naval powerhouse civ the Vikings losing ground to newer civs like the Italians, Portuguese, and Malay, due to mechanical changes to the gameplay greatly increasing the use of a type of warship the Vikings lack access to.
  • In ARK: Survival Evolved: Aberration, the Ravager dossier states point-blank that in any other ecosystem their strength, agility, intelligence, and pack behaviors would make them an apex predator. Unfortunately, the Aberrant Ark is a Death World even by Ark standards, and they just can't compete with the likes of Basilisks, Reapers, aberrant Megalosaurs, and Rock Drakes, leaving Ravagers around the middle of the food chain.
  • The neighborhood kids in the Backyard Sports series have been overshadowed by the pros, who have much better stats than them since they came in. The kids are actually very good athletes, as displayed in the first few games without the pros. The writers caught onto this in Hockey '05 but disregarded it in all the others.
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  • Luka from Bayonetta easily qualifies for Badass Normal Action Survivor status, managing to survive and stay one step ahead of both Heaven and Hell while doing investigative work and uncovering the secret origins of the Trinity of Realities with only his wits, his Grappling-Hook Pistol, and an impressive resilience. Unfortunately, he's in the same game as Bayonetta herself, a Showy Invincible Hero who shreds titanic archangels with spectacular flair and commits several acts of deicide.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 has Zobek, the only remaining Lord of Shadow, fall into this role. In the first game, the three Lords of Shadow had brought most of Europe to its knees, and as the strongest of them with his vast magical knowledge and necromantic abilities, this would make Zobek one of the most powerful beings in the world. But by the sequel, he's trying to compete with Dracula and Satan, both of whom are basically Physical Gods who far surpass him in terms of power, a fact that he is painfully aware of.
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  • Crimson Skies, a flight simulator set in an Alternate Universe version of the 1930s, has a few Real Life planes from the time period in it. They are nothing compared to the planes thought up by the game designers.
  • Demons in Demi Kids other than the main one (Rand or Gale) can't level up, so you have to catch and breed stronger monsters once in a while, then sacrifice the weak ones to level up your demon partner. But then, in the Dark version, you can fuse demon to another demon for same demon, but stronger. Considering how easily abusable the game's tournament was (win a tournament for a demon, rinse and repeat, and fuse), and combine this with skill parts that gives Multi hitting spells this translate into a lower tier monster capable of being on same level or stronger than the main one.
  • Everyone in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness once you unlock the Majin class. It's nearly impossible to do so without any guidance but once they become available it becomes technically pointless to use any other class and even the story characters because it essentially picks the best traits of every class and slaps into a single character.
  • In Dragon Age II, Carver has a major inferiority complex due to being a Muggle Born of Mages, as his father, twin sister and (potentially) elder sibling are all powerful Mages. Most of his character arc revolves around his distrust of Magic, his search for direction and his desperate attempts to try and get out of Hawke's shadow. If Hawke is a Warrior or Rogue instead, most of Carver's resentment seems to come from Hawke being the superiour swordsman, but this is not explored fully because he dies in the prologue instead of Bethany.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics has Orlandu, who has better stats, comes with the best equipment you can get outside of Deep Dungeon and has all the skills available to Holy Knights and Divine Knights, as well the boss-only Dark Knight. To exemplify, he's perfectly able to defeat most enemies in a single blow (and even more than one at once) in his default class and with his default equipment as soon as you recruit him. Which is done automatically after a story battle.
    • To further clarify this, his class has some of the greatest stat modifiers in the game, which means the only character that doesn't get overshadowed is Ramza and Beowulf (due to good unique skill) and females due to better range of equipment. Of course, this is only if you're talking about maximized stats. On a normal basis literally nothing can compete with him and his effectiveness.
    • Orlandu overshadows nearly everyone, but no one is hit harder by this than Meliadoul, who joins later than Orlandu, and whose special moves are all in Orlandu's moveset. The biggest advantage to Meliadoul over Orlandu is that she can use female-specific equipment. At least Agrias, who is similarly outclassed, is available much earlier in the game, meaning she'll probably have learned a bunch of useful skills by the time Orlandu joins.
  • Final Fantasy VI has Strago. Strago's Lores are genuinely impressive, except he's in one of the games of the franchise where magic is ridiculously overpowered. As a result Strago's unique skillset is outdone by the normal spells everyone can learn, including him. Their sole advantage is they ignore Reflect, but by the time you get to areas in the game where that's a problem, you've probably picked up magic that ignores Reflect like Meteor or Ultima.
  • Seifer is a villainous example in Final Fantasy VIII. He's shown to be a formidable fighter in the opening cutscene and when you can use him, and he even takes out Odin in a single blow. But when he has his Face–Heel Turn and goes against the heroes, he's a pushover compared to Squall, particularly because the latter has access to Guardian Force and Junction abilities that Seifer lacks. Seifer is probably the strongest unaugmented human in the world, but that's not enough when he's pitted against SeeD with only a gunblade and some magic.
  • In Final Fantasy X, if you use the Black Magic Spheres to teach Yuna offensive abilities, Lulu becomes this. Yuna's elemental magic spells, from the base tier of Fire/Water/Thunder/Blizzard all the way up to Firaga/Waterga/Thunderga/Blizzaga will always deal more damage than the same spell from Lulu because Yuna has higher stats. Lulu will have a higher variety of spells like Bio and Demi, but except for when those spells are particularly useful Lulu will always be outclassed by a Blk Magic Sphere-empowered Yuna.
  • Vaan and Penelo in Final Fantasy XII. The reason is fairly simple — they're Tagalong Kids with little to do with the main plot, which is a story of political strife between conflicting nations and monarchs. Vaan and Penelo are merely the viewpoint characters, it's the adult characters around them who actually move the story forward. This includes party members Ashe, Basch, and Balthier, who besides doing more for the plot also have more interesting backstories and more significant character growth. It's a case of Americans Hate Tingle though, as Vaan and Penelo are much more loved in Japan than in the West.
  • Fire Emblem: In "efficient" playthroughs, Low/Lower-Mid tier units often get overlooked in favour of... anyone else. Also, in Genealogy of the Holy War (the second Fire Emblem game for the SNES, which was never released outside Japan), characters with holy weapons or just holy blood really (see Larcei and Ulster) tend to overshadow everyone else. Especially Ares and Shannan, who are both killing machines from the moment they're unlocked.
    • Some of these pre-promoted units you get around the middle of the game actually can be pretty useful. Unlike the Jagens who join early-game but don't have very good growths, some of these guys actually do have decent growths that make 'em feasible. But some people who have been trained by experience to avoid these characters and stick with the non-promoted characters they obtained earlier may accidentally ignore 'em.
      • Marcus in Blazing Sword gets hit on both ends. For one, he's clearly a Jagen, which most people only really use a meat shield...and for people who had emulated The Binding Blade, they would know that he had terrible stat growths... 'in The Binding Blade! He's actually a lot better in Blazing Sword, but that didn't stop people from abandoning him first chance because of the reputation.
      • It is also, however, worth mentioning that the Crutch Character stereotype began to be subverted around Blazing Sword. At least, widely subverted (Oifey in Genealogy is pretty much the first subversion; but because Eyvel and Binding Blade Marcus play it so straight he was thought to be a one-time thing); Seth in Sacred Stones, Titania in Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, as well as Sothe in Radiant Dawn all act as Jagens, but don't fully fulfill this role.
      • Wolf in Shadow Dragon just screams "Crutch Character"... However, he actually has some pretty good growths so that even despite being an early-game prepromote, he's feasible until the endgame.
      • Also from Blazing Sword, we have Louise. While the other prepromotes that're considered useful (Pent and Hawkeye) are considered as awesome as they are, Louise often gets overshadowed by archers you obtained earlier, Rebecca is faster, Rath more mobile and Will stronger, with her only great sticking point is her support bonus with the aforementioned Pent.
      • On that note Will really has no sticking point better than any other Archer. Rath is just as strong, moves farther and promotes to a sword wielding class so his enemy phase is much better. Rebecca is way faster, around longer and if Lyn mode was avoided likely higher level. Louise is a prepromote so she doesn't need a seal and helps one of the best mages be better right of the bat.
      • Sacred Stones gives us Innes, Dussel, and Saleh. Saleh is overshadowed because by the time he joins, you already have Ewan (Unless you shelved him, not realizing the Magikarp Power), Lute, Artur, and maybe even L'Arachel promoted, and you don't need another magic user. Innes because you had Neimi earlier, and Dussel because, by the time he joins, you have at least three mounted fighters (Four depending on what you did with Amelia).
    • This trope may be the reason Eliwood of Blazing Sword is regarded, by some, as a weak character. While not as bad as the above examples, his stats are still considered weaker than the other Lords, Lyn and Hector, and lower than a good number of other Player Characters. This is rather jarring, as he is actually a well-balanced character, and after Unit Promotion he becomes considerably more useful.
      • A common rule of Fire Emblem is that the Jack-of-All-Stats is almost always outclassed by a Lightning Bruiser. Eliwood is fast, strong, and has decent defenses, but there are enough units that are faster, stronger, and tankier that he can't seem to measure up.
    • In Radiant Dawn, Rolf suffers from a minor case of Magikarp Power but is otherwise one of the best characters in the game - he promotes to one of the game's best classes, his stat growths are ridiculously good, he comes on a team that gets tons of experience - and yet almost no one uses him. At the same time you get Rolf, you also get Shinon, who is essentially Rolf after the Magikarp Power kicks in and with even better growths (though Rolf has an incredible Strength Growth (75%) in Radiant Dawn, way better than Shinon's (40%), who originally had a 65% Strength Growth in Path Of Radiance). Even with his Strength Nerf, Shinon is arguably the best archer in the entire Fire Emblem series, leaving poor Rolf completely outclassed. And both are way better than Leonardo, who has terrible growth rates in both Strength and Speed, which are crucial characteristics for an archer.
      • Again, in Radiant Dawn, because a lot of characters were featured, many of them ended up being overshadowed by the others, sometimes because of their team composition (such as the Rolf and Shinon case), sometimes because of the time they join (which means that you will already have better-trained units by the point they join), sometimes because others characters of the same class are just that good. Edward as a Trueblade pretty much overshadow the others, thanks to his fantastics growth rates, though Zihark stay a very good one thanks to his innate Adept skill. Either way, Edward, Mia or Zihark will overshadow Stefan (who joins way too late, though he does have wonderful stats) and Lucia (who is just that bad and joins very late your party). Tormod is overshadowed by every others Sages (or Archsages) since he doesn't show up until the very endgame. Also, pretty much every laguz unit will get overshadowed once their kings (and queen) join your party. Yeah, you get a pretty solid party of badass in Radiant Dawn.
      • An especially cruel example is Sothe, a mandatory unit and one of three candidates for the S-rank Dagger, who is flat-out inferior to Volke in literally everything he can do.
    • This was especially the case in Fire Emblem Fates, where the Avatar's real and foster siblings completely outclassed anyone unlucky enough to have the same role. Royals are also the only ones who can trigger Dragon Veins and alter the terrain making them inherently more useful. Everyone else becomes completely obsolete on the third route, where all eight of them can be recruited.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses the mechanic to poach students from other classes means that there are basically a few people considered the best for a weapon and/or class and the rest considered much less viable. Edelgard, Alois or Hilda for axes, Felix and Catherine for swords, Dimitri, Sylvain and Ferdinand for spears, Shamir, Claude and Ashe for Bows, and Lysithea is easily far and away the most powerful magic user to the point she is able to one shot the otherwise near unbeatable Death Knight.
  • Rief in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is a scholar as well as a healer, but soft-spoken (unless making smart remarks) and not good at fighting, leaving Karis to take over as The Smart Guy and Amiti as the combat-capable Water Adept. To add insult to injury, Karis also has an easier-to-use (if weaker) multi-target heal, meaning Rief is outclassed at his only other purpose.
  • Mia in Golden Sun is introduced as a powerful Water Adept and a brilliant medical professional with her own apprentices at an Improbable Age. But she doesn't talk enough to show it beyond a few deadpan quips, and in The Lost Age, Piers is a more combat-suitable Water Adept. Unsurprisingly, Rief is her son.
  • Halo: This is the big source of the one-sided Interservice Rivalry between the Spartans and Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Prior to the creation of the Spartans, the ODSTs were the elites of the Space Navy holding the line against the Covenant. Then the fancy gene-engineered Spartans came along and totally eclipsed the ODSTs, who were pushed into a support role and became Always Second Best. The ODSTs still carry a lot of resentment over the whole situation, seeing the Spartans as inhuman freaks who were sent in to steal all the thunder. The Spartans... don't seem to notice.
  • In Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, it's revealed at the end that Cole, Henry's kid sidekick is the real Big Bad of the game, having been sick of (to him) being the one doing all the work of tracking down the treasure and getting no credit (as well as Henry's constant coddling). In fact, Weaselby, Henry's supposed Arch-Enemy is actually an android controlled by Cole.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Most Keyblades in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep pretty much become this. A lot of them increase your magic stat more. Which is good for Aqua and to a lesser extent, Ventus; but for Terra, you typically want to emphasize his strength stat more. While magic is far from useless, physical attacks from him deal more damage anyways. And even on Aqua's campaign, you get a Keyblade that makes a good number of the magic-stat-increasing-only-ones inferior or equal mid-way through the game.
    • The Keyblade you receive from Neverland gets hit the hardest. Before the endgame worlds, Neverland is the last world you complete. Literally right after you complete it, you have to go start an event somewhere else. And most of the time? You get a better Keyblade that is essentially the Infinity -1 Sword. Unlike Kingdom Hearts where you had some good reasons for using other endgame Keyblades, the Infinity -1 Sword is pretty much better in every way.
    • Kingdom Hearts II also has this happen a little, but mostly near the end, when you get Keyblades left and right. The Decisive Pumpkin and later Oblivion Keyblades are pretty much the Infinity -1 Sword, and around the end, you get plenty of Keyblades from completing worlds or doing sidequests that are most easily completed around that timeframe...pretty much all of which are inferior to those two. The only one(s) that are better are the Ultima Weapon and some in Final Mix, especially for the abilities.
  • Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a perfectly fine Kirby game that got high reviews and is looked back on fondly...and is also often overlooked as the Kirby 3DS title as it was followed by Kirby: Planet Robobot, which many fans think took everything that Triple Deluxe did and made it better.
  • Darth Malak, the Big Bad of Knights of the Old Republic, is a formidable Dark Lord who was a noted Master Swordsman of his time as well being practically a scholar when it came to the Force and the Dark Side. Though a hothead and somewhat lacking in strategic abilities , he is still rather intelligent and an excellent tactician. The problem is that he is always compared to his former master Darth Revan, who was one of the most skilled, intelligent and powerful Dark Lords of the Sith ever (considered to be the pinnacle of what it was to be Sith, in fact) and Malak falls short when compared to him.
  • Although the constant balance changes mean character tiers can change with startling regularity in League of Legends, the bikini-clad, boar-riding, morningstar-wielding barbarian princess Sejuani the Winter's Wrath has always been overshadowed by several other champions who do the same thing she does only better, such as Malphite, Leona, Maokai and especially Amumu. She's a mediocre jungler but has to jungle since she can't lane and is a poor tank but has to tank because she does no real damage. She has a fantastic ultimate, but several other champs have ones that are nearly as good (or even better depending on the situation) and while she's playable she's generally regarded as always being an inferior pick.
    • This actually applies to quite a few champions in LoL who may be good at what they do, but other champions are simply better at it, or do the same thing and more — see Brand, Viktor, Varus, Fiora, Trundle, Ziggs, Volibear etc...
    • Simply put, any Skill Gate Character can easily fall into this trope as well.
  • Played for laughs in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV where Toval, who is one of the fastest character in the series who can cast arts, is in a party with the Master Swordsman of the empire, his student and considered to be the strongest swordswoman in their generation, and a superb witch. In his head, he wonders how in the world did he manage to be in this team.
  • In the Sega CD version of Lunar: The Silver Star, not only does The Hero, Alex, get every single MacGuffin and special ability, by the end of the game, all of his attributes (HP, defense, attack, magical power, and speed, and he can cast one of the healing spells) overpower everyone else in the party. Given the nature that individual abilities are spread out throughout the party (Mia wielding Black Magic, Nash with only Thunder Magic, Kyle as a hard hitter, Jessica as the White Mage, and, in the remakes, Luna casting weak Standard Status Effects) while Alex has all of that rolled into one, in addition to superior skills such as a Holy Hand Grenade spell among others, this is pretty poorly spread. In the remakes, this is toned down somewhat.
    • In the sequel, Lunar: Eternal Blue, this is thankfully averted. Hiro still has some edge, but everyone else's status and skills are much more spread out and on par with one another.
    • Alex is the Dragonmaster of his era and always had the potential to become it, which is what made him a one man army pretty much (Dragon masters could draw on all aspects of the dragons, which included all types of magic). Hiro is not nor is he ever named as such, even when they start freeing dragons. He's just an adventurer who wanted to help and was in the right place at the right time. Lucia's awakening made a dragonmaster unnecessary, since she carries the power of the dragons now.
  • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team has the Luiginary Stack Bros. Attack. Does lots of damage to one target, fairly easy to use and gotten quite early... but then completely outclassed by Luiginary Hammer in just about two "dungeons" time and then made utterly worthless when Luiginary Wall and Luiginary Typhoon are introduced. Luiginary Ball too, which goes from being fairly useful to then completely useless in about a single "dungeon".
    • Similarly, the Fire Flower for real world battling. Damages multiple targets, can burn enemies weak to fire and would theoretically be useful in any other game... but completely outclassed by every other Bros. Attack you get. Heck, even its "multiple enemies hit" advantage goes away the minute you get the (ridiculously powerful) Zee Egg attack in the endgame.
    • Much of the gear too, especially anything you get for beating the Mad Skillathon or Battle Broque Madame challenges. Why? Because there's always a piece of gear that's just plain better which you can either get from a shop, expert challenges or enemy drops. This is especially true of the Flame Hammer, which has a DX version you can just pick up out of a treasure chest with double the power, making the "difficult bonus challenge" reward absolutely useless. Same with some badges, since the best ones are so overpowered that anything else just seems kind of pathetic by comparison (like the Mush Badge's healing effects against the Miracle Badge's Reality Warper ones).
    • Luiginary Ball may be a subversion—by the late game, if you use the right equipment combination it can be cast without really losing ANY BP over and over again OHKOing or nearly OHKOing virtually any normal encounter in the Dream World, and using it is an excellent way to conserve BP early on in the optional Boss Rush. Luiginary Stack is played straight as it focuses on a single target, though.
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest easily has characters who can be overshadowed by someone stronger or better. For example, the 2-star Magneto (Marvel NOW!) version is usually overshadowed by his 3-star (Classic) version. His 3-star version has a Yellow power that creates powerful Protect blocks, a Red power that destroys all Team-Up blocks and a Blue power that damages an opponent by shuffling Red and Blue blocks. However, the 2-star version is usually considered better as its Purple power can effectively create Critical blocks and its Red and Blue powers destroy chunks of the board. Many tend to flock to the 3-star version because of its Mighty Glacier stance.
  • Mass Effect:
    • If you read the dossier for Garrus in Lair of the Shadow Broker, it is noted that he is nearly as capable a leader and problem-solver as Shepard, but he's always going to be a follower while under Shepard's command. Considering the situation when you meet him in Mass Effect 2, this is definitely the case. He had his own loyal to the end Badass Crew and together they took on the three biggest crime/merc groups in the galaxy. They got so deadly that the groups called a truce from their own war, recruited a ton of random mooks just to waste his ammo then launched an all-out assault against him when he was alone and cornered. And just to make sure they got him, they organized combat mechs and a gunship. The result? He holds out for three days before taking a rocket to the face from the gunship, and, even then, he's ready for action the next day.
    • With Shepard's help in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, Liara is able to bring down the Broker. If Shepard doesn't go through the events of that DLC, then by the third game, Liara took down the Broker, one of the most powerful spymasters in the galaxy, by herself. An important distinction, however, is that Shepard doesn't lose a single crew member in the process; Liara takes an entire squad, and she alone barely escapes with her life.
    • By the third game, Ashley/Kaidan has been promoted to Lieutenant-Commander/Majornote  respectively, commissioned as a Spectre and placed in command of the Normandy, and Shepard and Liara discuss how competent s/he's become in the first mission with her/him. But when Shepard is around, there's no question of who's in charge, or why.
    • After leaving Shepard, Urdnot Wrex, by Mass Effect 2, becomes the ruler of his homeworld, where Authority Equals Asskicking is the norm.
    • Miranda Lawson already has an inferiority complex. Due to being genetically engineered by her Abusive Dad to be good at everything she does, she thinks she can't take credit for any of her accomplishments. When she looks at Shepard, she sees someone who has accomplished everything she has, and more, without any genetic engineering. She does prove herself in 3, where her quest to find out what her father's up to and protect her sister goes well enough without her asking much from Shepard.
  • Mega Man Legends:
    • Most of the special weapons fall under this category, save for the Machine Buster, Vacuum Arm, and the late-game Active Buster and Shining Laser. Everything else is reasonably useful in and of itself, but often outclassed by your regular Mega Buster or simply not worth taking in lieu of the aforementioned weapons as you can only carry one at a time.
    • The Bonne Family, though normally scarily good at what they do and armed to the teeth with military-grade weaponry that most opponents can't even put a scratch in, become Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains because they had the misfortune of invading the island when the walking nuclear-equipped, Frickin' Laser Beams-firing, Macross Missile Massacring, Reaverbot-killing machine Mega Man happened to be there. Dialogue from Teisel at multiple points in the game makes it pretty clear the Bonnes typically swoop in and get what they want unchallenged, and that nobody's ever been able to stand up to them like Mega Man has. The sequel introduces some new pirates who confirm this: Bola and Klaymoor are tough fighters but have no battle machines or henchmen and thus are effectively limited to petty theft, and Glyde, while having similar machines and henchmen to the Bonnes, utterly pales in comparison to the Bonnes, and as The Misadventures of Tron Bonne shows, a Glyde Machine doesn't stand a chance against a Bonne machine one-on-one.
  • According to Capcom, Demitri Maximoff is the main character of the Darkstalkers series. Now, when you think of Darkstalkers, who comes to mind first? Yup. Poor Demitri is pretty much doomed to be overshadowed in popularity by the likes of Felicia and especially Breakout Character Morrigan. It's so bad that Cross Edge, a Massive Multiplayer Crossover involving several Darkstalkers, features a post-boss battle cutscene where Morrigan, Felicia, Lilith, and even Jedah mock Demitri for losing the title of protagonist in his own series, completely shattering the fourth wall in the process.
  • Of the four main party members in Mother 3 you have a Jack-of-All-Stats with solid healing and buffing abilities, a Black Magician Girl with lethal attacks and debuffing abilities, a quick-as-lightning Badass Normal with boatloads of HP who can inflict debuffs for free and gets free extra attacks, and last but not least... a dog with average stats, no PSI, and an unremarkable Enemy Scan ability. Boney the dog is far from useless as his Sniff ability lets you know which Standard Status Ailments to use on enemies (and this game averts Contractual Boss Immunity in a big way), but he's far overshadowed by the abilities of his teammates and you'll only use his scan move once before he's relegated to the role of "hitting the enemy with his entirely average standard attack while everyone else wins the battle". Note that this only applies statistically; in terms of what he does story and character-wise, he's pretty awesome.
  • In any of the Neptunia games, the human characters in any other medium would have been a powerful class on their own. Problem is, they're working with CPU goddesses. This is also brought up in Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 where IF is the only one who's bothered by this and thus trains in secret to keep up with them.
  • In the original Pikmin game, one of the red Pikmins' main traits is their powerful attack. In Pikmin 2, however, they are overshadowed by purple Pikmin, who have a much stronger attack stat and make reds useless for just about everything except taking out fire hazards.
  • Pokémon: Unsurprisingly, due to having over 800 and counting different options, many Pokemon that are perfectly usable are ignored both in-game and competitively due to not being quite as good as another Pokemon.
    • One of the prime examples is base form Deoxys. While possessing better defenses than Attack Form Deoxys, the difference isn't great enough to noticeably increase it's survivability, meaning it's never used in competitive matches, especially since it can't perform the roles of it's Speed and Defense forms.
    • Kyurem is only twenty points weaker than Zekrom and Reshiram but it's ice typing and unspecialized stats combined with a mediocre Secret Art mean that while the other two dragons have been Uber since introduced, Kyurem is usually regulated two tiers lower to Under-Used.
  • Raptor: Call of the Shadows has the Deathray weapon. It is a very strong weapon, being able to fire out a powerful Wave-Motion Gun that fries most Mooks, it's just that there's a weapon called the Twin Laser which fires out two of them, and only one of these primary weapons can be equipped.
  • Red Dead Redemption was considered to have one of the best protagonists in video game history in John Marston. And then its sequel Red Dead Redemption II came out with new protagonist Arthur Morgan, who unexpectedly reduced John Marston—still a great character—almost to a Replacement Scrappy.
  • In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Claire Redfield is the main playable character for the majority of the game. But she's largely regulated to a secondary role after Chris shows up.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Tails tends to get this treatment in the Megadrive/Genesis games; his debut in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 made him a complete copy of Sonic without the ability to control his signature flight or have the ability to access a Super Mode with the Chaos Emeralds, leaving very little reason for the player to actually use him. In Sonic 3, the player can finally use his flight and while he does have access to a few hidden areas exclusive to him, and a Super Mode of his own, he's still thoroughly overshadowed by Sonic and newcomer, Knuckles.note 
  • In Soul Calibur VI, Seong Mi-na is just a Korean Badass Normal Plucky Girl in a supernatural fantasy fighting game and she is shown to be really out of her depth. She lacks a straight win against any named character (and a fair few humiliating losses), but she still cleaves through supernatural Mooks like a naginata through tapioca, and that alone makes her one of the greatest fighters in the world.
  • This is the reason Arcturus Mengsk ends up being a Big Bad Wannabe at best in StarCraft whenever he isn't the main villain of a Terran campaign. By human standards, he qualifies as a Magnificent Bastard, being a brilliant politician, a good strategist and the ruler of the most powerful Terran faction in the setting. Unfortunately for him, he is still a human villain in a setting involving things like Scary Dogmatic Aliens with ridiculously advanced Psychic Powers, a God of Evil trying to wipe out all life in the Universe and an insanely powerful psychic woman leading a Horde of Alien Locusts, so he just can't compare.
  • In Star Trek Online Tier 6 ships tends to be this towards standard T5 ships and T5-U ships. This is because they add in an extra Bridge Officer seat, an extra console and a special power, though depending on the ship, these angles tend not to work well.
  • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is no doubt a great title for the 3DS library, but once the Wii U version was released a little later, many players moved on for the home console experience. Some people even refer to the 3DS version as "beta". Sure, it doesn't have as many modes as the Wii U version, but the shared frame data between both versions is proof of impressive programming. Thankfully, the 3DS version isn't completely overshadowed, because when people aren't at home, they can still play Smash on the go.
    • Unfortunatly as of 2018 and the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate it no longer even has the distinction of being the only portable entry in the franchise.
  • In SD Gundam Capsule Fighter, it's not uncommon to see lower ranks overshadowed by the higher-ups, especially in PVP. This is especially true for the A-Ranks, who are overshadowed by the stronger S-Ranks, despite A-Ranks giving opponents less of an point advantage and having full HP with their lives.
  • In gameplay terms, this befalls the GP37 in the STALKER trilogy. One of the best NATO weapons in the game, it's accurate, stable, comes with a good integrated scope, fires quickly, and, contrary to the stereotypes the game usually plays to, it's tough and reliable almost on par with the AK-74. It's also ridiculously rare, and ridiculously expensive when it is available. The quickest way to get it is to kill members of Freedom to steal the gun from them, which is more trouble than even a gun that good is worth. The easiest way is to wait until Monolith starts showing up and using it against you - at which point you can also get the FT-200M, which shares all of its upsides and comes with an integrated Grenade Launcher (something the GP37 can only use in Clear Sky).
  • Tales of the Abyss. Just a couple of hours into the game when you already think that formerly sheltered Luke fighting monsters in the wild and Tear beautifully singing as she casts magic were really cool, especially compared to usual inept civilians around, — just then there joins Jade. Being some 30 levels ahead of the party at the time and with most of his spells totally usable. He just makes Luke and Tear pale in comparison.
  • Terraria: Rangers and summoners in the current late- to endgame. Rangers can dish out great DPS via the Megashark or Uzi, can tackle groups with the Stynger or Rocket Launcher, and can deal over 1000 damage in a single crit with the Sniper Rifle. Even with all that, they remain Glass Cannons while Vampire Knives and Spectre Armor turn Warriors and Sorcerers into effective Physical Gods. No longer this in 1.3, as the Moon Lord absolutely wrecks any Life Drain strategy by inflicting a debuff that prevents any life drain from occurring and reapplies it frequently.
    • Currently, mages and to a lesser extent rangers seem to overshadow the rest after the new weapons were introduced. Mages can deal crazy amounts of damage via the Last Prism and Lunar Flare and their Nebula Armor gives damage, health and mana regen buffs to themselves and all nearby teammates, Rangers have the SDMG and Phantasm to deal heavy DPS when stealthed while still being Glass Cannons, while Melee and Summoners can't deal as much DPS as the two.
  • The TIE Advanced/Avenger starfighter in TIE Fighter. Based on Darth Vader's personal TIE Fighter in A New Hope, it was the first TIE starfighter to have shields and hyperdrive. But not long after its introduction, it was immediately overshadowed by the TIE Defender and the Missile Boat. The latter two were so tough that were intentionally excluded from the next game X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, once again making the TIE Advanced the most powerful Imperial starfighter.
  • Valkyria Chronicles tries and ultimately fails to avert this trope through Gameplay and Story Segregation: there's a lot of hype about Alicia and how, because everyone is equally important and the power of teamwork will always be superior to individual excellence, Squad 7 doesn't have to depend on her alone. Problem is, Alicia is a Game-Breaker almost from the beginning, and she can complete several stages by herself. The rest of the main cast's only function is to give the player more moves per turn so that Alicia has enough movement to wipe the stage clean in one or two rounds.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: All purely human antagonists are in way over their heads against a vampire. Stan, Boris or the Mandarin could have been the main antagonist in any other game, and even Dennis or Johnny would have made a respectable heavy, but when you pick your fangs with zombie bones and fight werewolves on the regular, a standard human is little more than a stepping stone.
  • This turns out to be the plot catalyst in Live A Live: Straybow, whose best friend Oersted is the heroic knight protagonist, gets entirely fed up playing second fiddle and decides to become the villain instead. Everything goes to hell.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Legion introduced dozens of new legendary items players can find randomly, but only two can be equipped so several that'd be otherwise useful end up completely ignored because it's not the best for a particular spec/role. Sehpuz's Secret for example grants haste and movement speed passively along with a larger buff to each every time a player crowd controls, interrupts, or stuns a target. While amazing for Shadow Priests whose main stun perfectly lines up with the buff's cooldown, others like Warlocks get almost no use out of it.
    • N'Zoth is explicitly stated by multiple sources to be the weakest of the Old Gods. However, he's also the the only one of them to ever be fought at full power. C'thun was nearly dead, Yogg-saron was still bound and fought with the help of several Titan Keepers, Y'shaarj actually was dead and players only fought remnants of him. N'Zoth comes very close to winning until he's hit with the power of the Forge of Reorigination.
  • The Xeno series has this as a recurrent theme:
    • In Xenogears, Hammer's Face–Heel Turn is catalyzed by the fact that he feels obsolete as an ordinary person surrounded by super people.
    • In Xenosaga this seems to happen to perennial Butt-Monkey Allen Ridgely, but turns out to be the setup for a moment where he stands up to a villain with godlike powers and gives a speech about how even an ordinary person has to stand up for what they want to protect.
    • Xenoblade continues the trend with Reyn, who used to protect Shulk when they were young. Over the course of the story, though, Shulk becomes strong enough in his own right that he doesn't need his protection anymore. Thankfully, Reyn soon takes it in stride and decides that even if that's the case, he can still watch his friend's back (which he does soon after that scene).


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